The Problem of Pornography
by Rich Murphy
Pornography is a major industry in the world today. Everywhere you go, you find pornography available in the stores, waiting to grab the unsuspected. Millions, of dollars are wasted on this industry, which only serves to tear down the proper sexual relationship that God created between married people.
Even in our advertising, we find "soft porn" used constantly. I'm sure you know what I mean. Just look at the covers of most magazines at the grocery store. The women are dressed in clothing that barely covers them, leaving less to the imagination than should be. Or, how about the more subtle versions, where the woman is covered, but in clothing that fits so tight that you can clearly see if they have underthings on, or not.
Pornography and Men
So, what is there about pornography that attracts? First of all, men are designed by God to be visually stimulated. They are attracted to the female figure, appreciating it above any other thing of beauty. However, Leviticus chapter 18 makes it clear that the only female figure a man is supposed to see is that of his wife. In pornography, the man ends up looking at women that he will never meet, and are made to look as sexually attractive as possible. Nothing matters in pornography, except creating lust within the viewer.
However, in the real world, no woman has an absolutely perfect body. These imperfections are usually magnified by childbirth, and age. The models and actresses in pornography are young women, who have never had children. With modern photography, it is possible to make these women look much better than any woman can look naturally.
So, what exactly are the problem with pornography? Basically there are two problems. lust and comparison.
The entire pornography industry is based on lust. Without lust, there isn't any reason for men to buy the materials they produce. Pornography creates sexual desire for the women contained within the magazine, or movie, within the heart of the viewer. This is the most obvious problem caused by pornography.
Jesus said: "whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:28). Pornography directly causes men to sin by having lust for women they aren't married to.
The second problem that pornography causes is more subtle than the first. As men look upon the women in the pornography, they are viewing an unrealistic image of the female body. As already mentioned, the women in the pornography aren't realistic representations of the women that they are likely to meet, or the woman they are married to.
As a man spends more time with pornography, he is more likely to start comparing his wife's body to the bodies of the women he has seen. This unrealistic comparison will cause him to become dissatisfied with his own woman. This more subtle danger is actually a greater danger than the first, because it will cause long term marital problems, and ultimately will lead the man into adultery, or divorce.
In addition to the physical comparison of the woman's appearance, there is a comparison of activity. The activities that people in pornography are involved in are unrealistic, and often totally inappropriate sexual activities. As the man imagines these activities, he will become dissatisfied with normal sexual relations with his wife. Unless she is willing to become involved in the perversions that he sees, he will become totally dissatisfied with the sexual relationship he has with his wife. Again, this can lead to adultery, and ultimately to divorce.
Pornography and Women
Don't think that pornography is just a male problem either. The female pornography industry might even be bigger than the male pornography industry. Not only that, but is is perfectly legal, without anyone trying to shut it down.
What is female pornography? Let's look back at how male pornography works for a moment. Men are visually stimulated, so male pornography is visual images of women, either revealing their body, or involved in sexual acts.
Women however, aren't visually stimulated. They are stimulated in the mind and emotions, primarily by the actions of the other person. This other person must meet their emotional needs to sexually stimulate the woman. So, female pornography must touch the woman's mind with images of men who will meet their emotional needs. Does it exist? Yes it does.
Female pornography takes two basic forms. They are romance novels, and soap operas. In either of these, the main female character is "swept off her feet" by a man who is more than any man she could possibly be married to. More what? More capable of meeting her emotional needs. You know something? Romance novels account for 51% of the paperback books sold in our country. Sounds like a big industry to me.
Usually, within the story lines of either romance novels, or soap operas we find that the woman ends up involved in a sexual relationship with some man, who she isn't married to. Of course, it seems okay, because he's told her how much he loves her, and has wonderfully met her emotional needs. Quite often, it's his fault, and not her's that the sexual relationship started, so the woman can't be blamed anyway, right?
Wrong! Sin is sin, whether another person "causes" you to sin or not. Actually, the Bible says that another person can't cause you to sin, because God "will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Just like male pornography, female pornography makes the partaker dissatisfied with their mate. The women will start comparing her husband with the characters she has been reading about, or seeing. Of course, he will fall way short in the race. This can cause the same problems for women that it does for men, dissatisfaction, adultery, and ultimately divorce.
Let's Be Pure
Paul admonished the Phillipian church to remain pure in their thoughts. He said: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phillipians 4:8). We too, should be sure to keep our thoughts pure, just as they did.
All pornography can do is cause sin. It will detract from our lives, our marriages, and our walk with the Lord. Like any area of sin, the price is too hight to pay, for the momentary pleasure it can bring.
Jesus said that we shall have to answer to God for "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matthew 12:6). Words, and actions too, start with thoughts. If we can keep our thoughts pure, we will not be tempted to fall into these areas of sin. That's God's best for us.
Copyright © 1998 by Richard A. Murphy, Maranatha Life All